Debunking 5 Common Dental Myths
The tooth fairy isn’t the only fable about dentistry —there are countless fairytales when it comes to dental health. Our dentist at Orange Grove Family Dentistry hears many of these dental myths every day, and we do our best to clear up any misunderstandings our patients may have when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Now we’d like to share the truth about five common dental myths.
5 Common Myths About Teeth, Gums, and Dental Health
1. Oral health doesn’t affect the rest of the body
The health of your teeth and gums —and your oral hygiene— have a significant effect on the rest of your body. The bacteria in your mouth and inflammation associated with severe gum disease may play a role in the development of other diseases, such as:
- Infection of the inner lining of the heart, known as endocarditis
- Cardiovascular disease heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke
- Pregnancy and birth complications, such as low birth weight and premature birth
- Pneumonia, caused when bacteria in the mouth is pulled into your lungs
2. Diet soda is okay because it doesn’t have sugar in it
Diet soda may be good for your waistline and blood sugar levels, but it can still lead to tooth decay. Diet sodas are highly acidic, and the bacteria that cause cavities love acid. The acid in diet soda also eats away at your enamel to cause tooth sensitivity. Other acidic drinks include orange juice and citrus juice.
3. My teeth are unhealthy because I’m getting older, so there’s nothing I can do about it
With proper care, your teeth can last lifetime. In fact, a recent study found that 14 to 21 percent of people ages 50 and older still have all their teeth. Proper brushing and flossing, routine trips to the dentist, and a healthy lifestyle all contribute to the longevity of healthy teeth and gums.
Older adults do have more dental problems, though, especially gum disease and tooth decay that can often be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist.
4. It’s only a baby tooth
While baby teeth are small, they perform big jobs. Baby teeth work like permanent teeth to bite and chew healthy foods that children need to grow and thrive, for example. These tiny teeth help a child speak clearly and smile brightly, which is important for social development and self-confidence.. There temporary teeth also hold the space for permanent teeth that are growing beneath the gum line.
Your child’s first dental visit
You should take your child to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth coming in or their first birthday, whichever comes first. During this visit, the dentist will examine the child’s gums and jaw, count and examine any teeth that have emerged (erupted), check the child’s bite, and may include a gentle cleaning.
The dentist will also check for signs of tooth decay or other issues. Baby teeth have a thinner layer of protective enamel, so they are more vulnerable to tooth decay.
5. You only need to go to the dentist when your teeth hurt
As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this old saying is especially true in dentistry. Many dental problems begin silently, which means they don’t cause symptoms until the problem have already advanced to a serious stage and has caused damage to your teeth or gums. As tooth and gum diseases advance, they become more difficult and expensive to treat – advanced tooth and gum diseases are also painful.
Are bleeding gums normal?
No! Bleeding gums are a sign that you may have or may soon develop gum disease.
How often should you visit the dentist?
That depends largely on the health of your teeth and gums, and other factors. Most people with healthy teeth and gums benefit from having a professional dental cleaning twice a year and a dental checkup once a year, but many need dental care twice a year or even more often. If you have gum disease or want to straighten your teeth, undergo professional teeth whitening, or have other dental work done, you may visit your dentist even more frequently.
Dental visit importance
Regular dental visits to Orange Grove Family Dentistry give your dentist an opportunity to spot and address problems early, while they are easiest to treat.
But I have dental anxiety!
Dental anxiety and dental phobia are common and manageable — today’s dentistry is much more comfortable and much less stressful. Thanks to advances in sedation dentistry, you can even sleep through some dental procedures.
Our dentist at Orange Grove Family Dentistry has advanced training, skills, and technology to detect, diagnose and treat a wide variety of dental problems. We also offer teeth whitening, dental veneers, Invisalign®, and other cosmetic dental treatments to keep your smiles looking it’s best.